Why Sony’s ‘Project Morpheus’ Is In The Right Place At The Right Time

Why, yes, Sony’s new virtual reality headset does bear a striking resemblance to the Oculus Rift, that scrappy upstart turned king of the virtual reality hill you’ve been hearing so much about.

After its fast ascension powered by a healthy run on Kickstarter, the Rift is currently synonymous with virtual reality (VR) gaming, even though the system isn’t publicly available (though that may change soon now that the company has announced its second developer kit). By all accounts, virtual reality is set to revolutionize immersive virtual experiences in a way that the faltering promise of 3D gaming could never quite deliver.

With the PlayStation 4 setting the pace for next-gen consoles, Sony’s newly-announced Project Morpheus could do the same thing for commercial VR. Microsoft ships every Xbox One ships with a Kinect (these days, little more than a glorified Siri for your living room), but Sony might just have the jump on the next big thing.

Learning From Last Gen

Interestingly, Sony’s actually been tinkering around with a VR headset since as early as 2011, when it unveiled a buzzy but not very functional dual-OLED prototype at CES. An iteration of that “personal 3D viewer,” the HMZ-T1, actually went on sale abroad (and apparently you can still buy it on Amazon for a meager $758.88!)

Four years ago, interactive peripherals like Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s own PlayStation Move began paving the way for VR, acclimating gamers to immersive oddities like motion-tracking and gesture controls. But back then, Microsoft’s 3D sensor was a smash hit while the Playstation Move floundered. The disparity in that department is now clearer than ever: The Kinect is bundled with every new Xbox One and Sony has since admitted the PlayStation Move was a mistake.

For all its quirks, the Kinect spearheaded motion-based gameplay, effortlessly stealing the wind from Nintendo’s sails and making Sony’s awkward glowing bauble look downright foolish. But it’s Opposite Day for this latest generation of console gaming. Now the Xbox One wants to be the casual-friendly living room entertainment option (at a $100 premium, no less), while the PS4 is, in some ways, a return to Sony’s roots of wooing core gamers with an open set of policies and indie-friendly platform, leaving unwanted peripherals out of the box.

Project Morpheus Vs. The Oculus Rift

Console wars aside, could a proprietary VR peripheral compete against the Oculus Rift’s grassrootsy success? The answer is “most definitely”—especially if the games are there.

The two VR headsets face opposite challenges. Oculus built a hardware wonder with the Rift, but now the nascent, still-not-commercially-available platform needs software that makes it shine. Oculus admits that convincing AAA title makers to gamble on an entirely new, mind-bending medium has been a challenge.

In Sony’s corner, the corporate behemoth has no trouble drumming up quality titles—after all, it’s owned as many as 16 game development studios tasked with crafting in-house PlayStation hits like “Uncharted” and — For more information read the original article here.    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *